ECOWAS’ reputation for upholding democratic norms is facing strain as a growing number of West African leaders alter rules to consolidate power and resist stepping down at the end of their mandated terms.
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A power struggle between former President José Mário Vaz and Guinea-Bissau’s ruling Party for the Independence for Guinea and Cape Verde plunged the country into a series of political and institutional crises following the dismissal of Prime Minister Domingos Simões Pereira in August 2015. From the beginning ECOWAS took an active role in resolving the impasse, embarking on several rounds of mediation missions led by former and current regional heads of state, as well as a delegation of regional ministers. The culmination of these efforts resulted in the October 2016 Conakry Accord, a 10-point roadmap for resolution designed to foster political stability and cooperation among the country’s governing members. ECOWAS’s sustained engagement in Guinea-Bissau provides a blueprint for future political and institutional crises in the region.
Taking Stock of African Peace Operations: Regional Responses to Unconstitutional Changes of Government
A webinar to discuss successes, challenges, and lessons learned from recent regionally sponsored peace operations responding to unconstitutional changes in government, and how peace operations sponsored by regional actors may contribute to addressing or countering unconstitutional changes of government.
Loss of munitions and other lethal materiel from African armed forces and peace operations is a key factor sustaining militant groups driving instability on the continent.
The invasion of Ukraine is a wake-up call to the implications of Russia’s attempts to export its governance model to Africa—with sobering consequences for African sovereignty and stability.
To address a growing array of cyber threats and challenges, African governments need to adopt cybersecurity strategies that foster collaboration and trust between security, civilian, and private sector stakeholders.
To be more meaningful to the lives of citizens and to better realize the vision of its founders, the African Union will need to empower its technical, legislative, and judicial institutions.
Responding to the coups, conflicts, and other derailments of democratic processes in recent years, Africa’s 2022 elections are, in large part, an effort to right the democratic ship of state on the continent.
Arms embargoes can be effective but require regional and international buy-in, adequate monitoring, and the imposition of sufficient costs on actors who evade the sanctions.
The prospective deployment of Russia’s Wagner mercenaries should not be confused with addressing Mali’s security situation but is a means of expanding Russian influence while propping up the military junta.
Recognition of the coup in Guinea would incentivize future military interventions. Yet, simply reinstating President Alpha Condé would not restore democracy. Several possible paths could be followed to return Guinea to constitutional order.
African countries can negotiate a more equitable role in FOCAC, but this requires a more strategically focused approach, better coordination, and greater accountability to their citizens.